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Name: Marshall Vandegrift
Member since: 2002-03-20 22:23:56
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Homepage: http://www.rpi.edu/~vandem2/


Zoop. Presently a junior at RPI, pursuing a dual degree in CS and philosophy. A Linux user and moderate-rabidity supporter of free (as in speech) software. Believes that capitalism will eventually fail (and is failing now), despite working for the US government. Is only just now getting into developing free software. Current projects in development: nTFTP.

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Between classes, illness, and a motivation-sapping warm spell, I haven't done very much actual work on Open Source Goodness recently. I keep feeling the urge to add code to nTFTP, but one of the little voices in my head always ends up screaming either "No! You must write your Metaphysics paper first!" or "Lima beans! Lima beans!". I haven't figured the second one out yet either. In any case, desite a lack of written code, I have had a wonderful number of half-formed ideas.

  • gtunes - I've actually been kicking this one around since spring break, and I'm definitely going to start development first thing this summer. Basically, think iTunes, but for GNOME, adhering to the Unix philosophy, and injected with style-enhancing nanites. IMHO, the problem with most open source digital music applications is that, whatever else they do, they also try to play music, something (again, IMHO) xmms already does far better than any application not a similar age could possibly hope to do. What gtunes will do instead is provide a uniform interface to existing standard digital music tools and only add new functionality where functionality is actually lacking. The current tentative feature set includes: a music-library interface, a CD-ripping interface (grip already does this very well, so I'm waffling there...), a portable-player transfer interface, and a modular download interface.
  • gtunes' download interface - This is actually a sub-project of gtunes, but being the niftiest part, I felt like it deserved equal billing with the rest of the stuff here. Basically, I'm envisioning a system where modular daemons aware of specific P2P protocols export a consistent CORBA interface that gtunes can then manipulate to provide a consistent interface to whatever protocol is popular next month. But the fun doesn't stop there! Imagine now a system that allows you to specify specific constraints (such as track length or other meta-data) and repeatedly searches and downloads until it actually gets a file (and just one file) matching those constraints. And now imagine that system automatically building constraint information by querying freedb or other music meta-data repositories. Yum...
  • spectre - An open source clone of Norton Ghost. Not too much else to say... Will probably use partimage for image-creation and code from nTFTP for image-deployment. This was originally fuzzynerd's idea, and looks like something we'll be working on for independent study credit next semester.
  • ATP - Anarchistic Transport Protocol... Over the course of a week, it began as an idea for an anonymous P2P chat system, blossomed into a thing of beauty, then died. Maybe. It turns out that the folks over at ANet are already doing something very similar to what I'd begun contemplating, although they're also doing some things very differently. I've bounced some questions off their lead developer, so depending how things go I might end up joining them this summer, forgetting the whole thing, or (eventually) starting my own project.

Hooray! I have my own list of crazy projects! But for now, back to the world of Metaphysics papers and lima beans...


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